Across from Picasso
cross-posted on Dreamwidth as laurieopal

I've been meaning to put this and finishing work for Worldcon has been keeping me too busy -  but finally:

I have posted before about my photographs in the exhibition “No Museum No Life?” at the Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.  (The work was chosen from the collections of five Japanese National Museums of  Art.)  Having four photographs from Women En Large and Familiar Men included is really an honor.

I’ve been told by my friend Becky, who visited the exhibition, that my photographs are hung next to Edward Weston and across from Picasso.  And I understand that two quotes from Women En Large and Familiar Men, one from Debbie and one from Jonathan Katz, are used to context the Nude/Naked theme.

I’ll be able to see for myself next month, when I fly to Japan to visit the museum, and see people I’ve worked with and photographed in Tokyo, the Kansai and Okinawa.

A little while ago, I received a copy of the show’s catalog.  The curators wrote essays about the concepts around which the show is organized.  My work is in the “Naked/Nude” section of the exhibition.  The curator Masuda Tomohiro wrote this in the catalogue about the art.  I have rarely received a more thoughtful or perceptive appreciation of my photographs.


The term “nude” embodies an ideal of well-balanced physical beauty based on an ancient Greek concept that rose to prominence in the Renaissance period. In Europe and modern and contemporary Japan, which was influenced by European values, depictions of nudes remained a central part of art for many years. In order to convey this fact, we have taken as many nudes as we could from the collections and displayed them in this room. Our real bodies, however, are very different from the statuesque forms depicted during the Renaissance. If the idealized nude was, as it were, a fictitious body, its opposite is our real naked bodies. You might say that the history of modern art is a history of rehabilitating the nude. Gustave Courbet’s Sleeping Nude is a suitable work to express this tendency. Though the composition itself is reminiscent of Renaissance painting, the picture shows a woman sleeping in a room in a slovenly position. The window in the background suggests that someone might be peeping at her. Here, the repressed desire to look at a nude is clearly expressed.

Since the people who painted nudes were often men and the people who were being painted were often women, these works frequently have been subjected to criticism on the grounds of gender bias. With this in mind, let us consider some nudes by the female artists Ogura Yuki and Laurie Toby Edison. The latter in particular extols the beauty of exposed bodies in a way that was never attempted in the past. When the beauty of a body is captured in its natural form, it becomes difficult to differentiate between naked and nude. The difference is based on complicity between the artist’s desire and the viewer’s desire to look and share aesthetic values with each other.

I’m really excited to be going to see it!

Shell Pendant with Pearls and Dreamsnake Pendant
I made this pendant for Rina Weisman from a beautiful shell that she's had forever.  I loved the complex texture of the shell and made a design that reflected that complexity. It's in sterling with fresh water pearls.  Silver is more brilliant then the photo. Actual size is about 2" high. I decided to have the image this large so the details would be clear. It's stunning on her.

I'm working this weekend on polishing some of the designs for Worldcon. Including a new snake pendant design from Vonda McIntyre's remarkable book "Dreamsnake".  I'm looking forward to seeing her at Worldcon. The major pendants are mostly finished but there is still lots of work to be done.

Chinese Jade Butterfly and Leaf Pendant
I wrote a while ago about these exquisite imperial color jade carvings that Brenda Clough's mother had brought out of China in the 1940's, when she and her husband came to the US.

I hadn't worked with jade of this quality in quite a while and it was a pleasure.  The butterfly is an intact antique with natural pearls that I set as part of the design.  The actual size is about 3" across.  Both leaves and the butterfly wings are carved in more detail than the photograph shows.  But it gives a good sense of the pendant. I love the way the design worked out.

And I have more of her jade to design for!

Ring Stones for Worldcon
I've been really busy setting stones.  These are some of the stones I have been setting in rings for Worldcon.

Lapis, amethyst hematite with pyrite, moonstone, kyanite, purple and blue deco spinal (synthetic), blue chaceldony, sun stone, malachite, patterned quartz, and pietersite.  Took photo in haste and the stones are more beautiful than the picture.

Lots more to do but it's all coming along.

Gorgeous Opal Pendant
I've been so busy making work for Worldcon and getting ready for Japan that I've been posting less.  My resolution is that from tonight I will be posting more. Hopefully I'll keep it.

I don't usually put up photos this big, but I wanted to show the coloration in the opal.  It's truly stunning.
It's from the collection of Nancy Cobb.  I made it for her a few years ago.  She was visiting last week and I took the opportunity to take a photo. The photo is, of course, unmanipulated.

Gogeous Opals
I've been too caught up in carving waxes. Right now I'm burned and tired.

But I've almost finished three new opal pendants. Two of them are luminous cats-eye yellow opals with floating delicate shades of subtle color inside the stones.

The third one is a pearl flower with a carved vivid Ethiopian opal leaf.

They still need final touches and then magnifier work but the designs are basically done.

And I'm very finished for the night but happy.

My Photos in National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
Preparing for an already _very_ dense summer that now ends with my trip to Japan means that this is posting a little later then I would have liked. This is very special news.

I am thrilled that 4 of my photographs are in the "No Museum, No Life? -Art-Museum Encyclopedia to Come" that opened on the 16th in Tokyo at the National Museum of Modern Art. The show runs from June 16th to September 13th.


It consists of about 170 pieces of work from the collections of the National Museums of Art (The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo / The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto / The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo / The National Museum of Art, Osaka / National Art Center, Tokyo).

Philip Huang

This is only the second exhibition from the collections of the five national museums of art. The show will present a cross-sectional selection of works dating from before Christ to the present around the thirty five keywords from A to Z inspired by art-museum activities. While allowing the visitors to appreciate unexpected combinations of art works, the show will aim to provide an opportunity to think about concepts of “art museum” itself.


My photographs are from the collection of the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Osaka where I had my solo exhibition "Meditations on the Body," curated by Akiko Kasuya.

I really want to see the exhibit and how my photographs are shown, so I'm going to Japan in early September!

It's been about ten years since I was in Japan and I have many people I am looking forward to seeing.

And I'll be writing about it here.

Yet Again I'm Back
I'm back from Wiscon and in the world. Been working hard catching up.

Memory Landscape panel at Wiscon was really good -  very helpful in shaping the work.

Wiscon, as always, was wonderful.

Took this photo of Kate Beyer in one of my silver lace pearl necklaces.

And this is the necklace:

Memory Landscape Panel at Wiscon
I'm doing a panel about my work-in-progress "Memory Landscapes" at Wiscon on Saturday at 4PM with Pat Murphy, Nisi Shawl, Kim Stanley Robinson and Debbie Notkin.

"Photographer Laurie Toby Edison's work-in-progress is “Memory Landscapes", a feminist visual memoir, to be implemented as an iPad app. Memory is a form of time travel through your own time line.  A visual memoir takes you into the artist's time line and lets you choose your paths through their lives. Memories are filtered, by who we are now, who we were then, and what has happened in between. We view our past through layers of memories, and the past is everything that happened except this moment. The panel will look at some of Laurie’s work in progress, and discuss the ways panelists and the audience re-engage with memories of their own lives. Laurie needs people's insights and experiences with memory to inform and inspire her work."

I've done the panel twice before with Pat Murphy, Nisi Shawl and Debbie Notkin and once (at Fogcon) with Kim Stanley Robinson.  Both times it's generated a lot of audience excitement and involvement. There are many ways in which my work has been collaborative and the panel audiences have really contributed to the shaping of the work so far.

iPads enable an artist to show the original art rather then a reproduction, assuming that the images were shot with iPad light in mind.  I will be showing the work at the panel as well as discussing it.

And again, really looking forward to seeing everyone at Wiscon.

Back from Vacation: Leaving for Wiscon and Dragonfly Cuff
It's late and this is going to be a tired post. I'm leaving for Wiscon the day after tomorrow and am working hard at finishing up getting ready. I have a collection of glorious new stones from my lapidary including fossilized dinosaur bone, a stunning pietersite, and a vivid korite opal.

And a group of new designs that I'm really happy with.

I'll be doing my Memory Landscapes panel as well but I'll write about that tomorrow. Tonight my mind is rather fixed on jewelry.

I very recently finished this dragonfly cuff. From the collection of Fred Teti

It's silver with the dragonfly's head a garnet and the stone on the tail is a very vivid opal.

Good night.  Looking forward to seeing lots of folks I like at Wiscon.


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